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Serageldin issues a Public Statement about "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" controversy .
Alexandria, 04 December 2003  -- In response to the enormous public outcry concerning the presence of a copy of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in an exhibition at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) and the alleged remarks made by a senior official of the BA, Ismail Seraeldin, with characteristic directness issued the following public statement:

Public Statement by Ismail Serageldin

Recent press reports concerning the presence of the first Arabic translation of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in an exhibition in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina deserve a prompt and clear reply.

Preliminary investigation determined that the book was briefly displayed in a showcase devoted to rotating samples of curiosities and unusual items in our collections. The book was never displayed alongside the Jewish Torah, nor has it ever been stated that it is a holy book or the basis for a Jewish constitution. The book is well-known as a 19th century fabrication to foment anti-Jewish feelings.

The book was promptly withdrawn from public display, but its very inclusion showed bad judgment and insensitivity, and an internal administrative review is underway to determine whether further actions are to be taken.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is profoundly committed to its role as a center of learning and a place promoting tolerance, dialogue and understanding between peoples, cultures and civilizations. We are honored to work with distinguished international partners in promoting these universal ideals.

  Ismail Serageldin

The Library of Alexandria P.O. Box 138 – Chatby, Alexandria 21526 , Egypt     Phone: +(203)-4839999 Fax: +(203)-4820450   Email: